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Daan-Lungsod and Guiwang Marine Sanctuary, Philippines

Daan Lungsod-Guiwang Marine Sanctuary, Municipality of Alcoy, Province of Cebu


The establishment of Daan Lungsod-Guiwang (DLG) Marine Sanctuary in 2001 and its management were initially supported by the Coastal Resource Management Project (CRMP), part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Coastal Conservation Education Foundation (CCE Foundation) through the Local Governance for Coastal Management Project.

In 2001, prior to the establishment of Daan Lungsod-Guiwang Sanctuary, the following issues and threats were identified:

1) illegal fishing and poaching (using compressors, cyanide, scissor nets (sudsud) and baling wire), to catch juvenile danggit (rabbitfish, part of the Siganus genus) and other fish

2) intrusion of commercial fishing operations within the municipal waters

3) habitat degradation (coral reefs and mangroves)

4) sand extraction

5) construction within the foreshore areas

6) pollution and siltation from dolomite mining

7) upland run-off

By 2002, these issues were slowly being addressed by the municipality through a CRM plan which included programs and strategies for managing and improving coastal and marine resource use. The sanctuary was established as a no-take area in 2002 under Municipal Ordinance No. 20002-12.

Description of Site

Situated on the southeastern side of Cebu, the site is approximately 500m off the mainland, between the boundaries of Barangays Daan Lungsod and Guiwang. It covers 22.709 hectares, with the main habitats and ecosystems being coral reefs, a sea-grass bed and a sandy area. The coral area itself is a barrier reef. The commercially important fish species include Scarids (parrot fishes) and Caesionids (fusiliers).


Between 2002 and 2003 there was a significant 7.3% increase in the cover of live hard coral, with a general increase trend in coral since the reserve was established.1 Live hard coral cover within the reserve is rated as fair.2 Fish density was at its highest in 2005 compared to any other year between 2003 and 2008.1 In 2003, Daan Lungsod-Guiwang Marine Sanctuary was one of the coral rehabilitation sites of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI). Part of the project involved restocking giant clams. The site was a recipient of several Tridacna gigas (15-20 cm), which after 6 years of protection, now measure up to 40-45 cm.

CCE Foundation has been assisting the Municipality of Alcoy in terms of coastal resource management planning and activity implementation since 2002. CCE Foundation introduced the use of the MPA rating tool as a monitoring tool for gauging and improving MPA management efforts and continues to update the tool annually. The management rating of Daan Lungsod-Guiwang Marine Sanctuary is currently at Level 4 (sustained and very good) with a total number of 32 points.

The community and the local government unit are actively involved in the management and the protection of the Daan Lungsod-Guiwang MPA. Although there is a user’s fee that has been approved by ordinance, the system for collection and distribution are still being fine-tuned before they will be implemented. When the community first began to manage the MPA they opted to close the whole sanctuary to all human activities until it was ready to be utilized as a tourism area. The community takes pride in their MPA, and the management council and fish wardens have all expressed their support for the sanctuary whether or not they are paid for the effort.

Conservation Values

For local communities the conservation value that they put on their marine resources is especially high in terms of economic and social benefits that the marine sanctuary has for them. The municipal government is also very supportive of the efforts made in the MPA area. However, there are still some problems when dealing with commercial fisheries and fishermen that are not from Cebu province itself. These fishermen tend to have large commercial sized boats that encroach municipal waters. This was pointed out by local fishermen and fish wardens who all have a special interest in the sanctuary since they have all been active since the sanctuary’s establishment.

Specific activities, such as the giant clam restocking and the coral rehabilitation that has happened within the sanctuary by academic institutions, have meant that the local community has put special value on protecting the area. The community can see the effects of the protection, as well as the efforts of others in trying to improve marine life and coral condition within the sanctuary. Overall, it was observed that it is important to be able to show the community and the marine sanctuary management the biological and scientific side of conservation. This way they feel more involved and more informed about what they are protecting and they have a greater pride in being able to be a part of the conservation efforts. This was boosted, of course, when they were nominated as one of the best MPAs in the Philippines by the Marine Protected Area Support Network.

Management and Governance

The Daan Lungsod-Guiwang Marine Sanctuary is co-managed by the barangay councils of Daan-Lungsod and Guiwang, Guiwang United Fisherfolk Organization (GUFOG) and Alcoy Kingfisher Organization (AKO). This is supported by the municipal local government unit (LGU) through the Mayor, the Sangguniang Bayan, the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO), the PNP Police Environmental Desk Officer (PEDO), and other organizations and individuals.

The Municipality of Alcoy has been one of the most supportive LGUs in terms of coastal resource management efforts at the sanctuary level as well as the MPA Network Cluster level in Southeastern Cebu. The MPA was legalized by municipal ordinance and a budget has been allocated for MPA maintenance since its establishment. Deputy fish wardens serve within the municipality, and the management council and fishermen’s organization (AKO) are assigned to oversee the activities in the MPA. Overall, the combined effort to protect and manage the Daan Lungsod-Guiwang MPA by local groups, the municipal government, and the community itself, has been quite outstanding over the years.

There are six operational committees that manage the project, which are separately responsible for: 2

1. patrolling, surveillance and coastal law enforcement
2. monitoring
3. information, education, communications and training
4. financial management
5. linking/networking and fund sourcing
6. equipment and maintenance

To date, the CCE Foundation continues to support the MPA initiatives of the municipality by providing technical assistance, through the Local Governance for Coastal Management Project (LGCMP) supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In addition, the Municipality of Alcoy is an active member of Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council-Municipal Seaborne Coastal Law Enforcement (SCCRMC-MUSCLE). This cluster holds joint municipal water seaborne patrolling operations. This sanctuary has been nominated as one of the best MPAs by the Marine Sanctuary Network (MSN).

Issues and Concerns

Currently, there is a need for more bantay dagat (fish warden) officers, but there is a lack of local government (LGU) funds that have been set aside for this purpose.2 As a result compliance with the no-take policy is still to be fully enforced. Additionally although there is already a local law (ordinance) establishing a user-fee system, the participating parties are still in the process of refining the collection and sharing processes. There are still those who believe that more effort could be put in and feel that more support could be given to the sanctuary to fully realize the MPA goals that have been set.

It is recommended that the area surrounding the sanctuary is managed through prohibiting certain fishing gear and that more areas are made available for coral rehabilitation, especially in rubble zones.2 According to the MPA management council, the priorities for improved management of the MPA include:

a) generation of a sustainable financing mechanism

b) increased government support

c) better law enforcement

Information provided by Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, CCEF, (and the Silliman University Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management, SUAKCREM) in 2009.


1. Maypa, A.P., Apistar, D., Paguio, J., Diaz, R., Delizo, D., Sabonsolin, A.C. & Tesch, S. (2008) Daan-Lungsod – Guiwang Marine Sanctuary, Alcoy, Cebu. CCEF.
2. Marine Protected Areas Support Network (2009) 2009 Most Outstanding MPA Finalist: Daan-Lungsod-Guiwang Marine Sanctuary. Web link